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Racing Notebook – Wednesday, March 4

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Stewart Haas Racing

PITTSBURGH, PA – (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Wednesday’s Racing Notebook includes Tony Stewart plans to race at Indianapolis plus Jimmie Johnson plans to test an IndyCar.

Tony Stewart To Race In Xfinity Series Race At Brickyard:

  • Tony Stewart will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a Ford Mustang from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).  The three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee will headline the inaugural Xfinity Series event on Indianapolis’ 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course, with the 62-lap race serving as Stewart’s 28th overall start at the Brickyard but his first in the Xfinity Series.  Stewart has competed in 18 Brickyard 400s, five Indianapolis 500s and four IROC Series races.  Stewart is a two-time Brickyard 400 winner (2005 and 2007) and a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.

Jimmie Johnson To Test IndyCar At Barber Motorsports Park:

  • Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson had the internet buzzing today after posting a picture on his Twitter account of the cockpit of the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar.  The questions started coming from Johnson’s followers, who confirmed with a second tweet that he has been invited to test the car with Arrow McLaren SP team at Barber Motorsports Park.  Johnson, who is in his final, full-time NASCAR Cup Series season has expressed an interest to test and race an IndyCar on a road course.

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NASCAR Shortening Speedweeks to Speedweek and moving Busch Clash:

  • NASCAR is condensing the schedule of the traditional Speedweeks from two weeks to one week.  NASCAR is also moving the Busch Clash from the 2.5-mile oval to the Daytona International Speedway road course for the first time.  The Busch Clash will kick-off the on-track action on Tuesday, February 9 under the lights.  The road course will be the same one IMSA uses for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Fires Back At Denny Hamlin:

  • Chip Ganassi was not too happy that Denny Hamlin took to social media to make light of Hamlin punting Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson into the wall during Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  Hamlin sent out a Tweet on Monday showing him hitting Larson from behind with a shopping cart.  Ganassi responded with his own Tweet.  See the exchange below:

 

 

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INDYCAR Community Reacts To No Fans At Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The INDYCAR community is reacting to the news that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has decided to run the Indy 500 on August 23 without fans in attendance.  The decision is a reversal of a plan set forth a few weeks ago where the event would be run in front of 25-percent of the capacity of the Speedway.

Speedway President J. Douglas Boles, who has been a guest on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, is appreciative of his team and the fans:

Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal took to social media to make some great points:

Spencer Pigot who drives for Steelers minority owner Rob Citrone and Robbie Buhl’s team Citrone Buhl Autosport with RLL also took to Twitter to express his feelings:

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson also weighed in:

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Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Real and Alexander Rossi, two former 500 winners had this to say:

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who’s boss owns the Speedway has a great idea:

Stay tuned to Pittsburgh Racing Now for updated comments from the INDYCAR Community

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No Fans At Indianapolis 500 in 2020

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is cancelling plans to have fans at the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

“It is with great regret that we announce the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans.  This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership” the Speedway said in a statement.

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“As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened.  Since our June 26 announcement, the number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled.  We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment.”

The Speedway is closing all on-track activity to the general public, including practice and qualifications.  Ticket holders will be credited for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 and will retain their seniority and their originally assigned seats.

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The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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